Syrian War Report – Dec. 27, 2018: Large Number Of Syrian Troops Deployed Near Manbij

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On December 26, militants of the al-Qaeda-linked Wa Harid al-Muminin operations room conducted a hit and run attack on several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Lattakia. According to pro-militant sources, over 20 SAA soldiers were killed.

Another version of the events claims that the SAA repelled the attack in the villages of Nakhshiba, Ruysat al-Malik and Ayn al-Qantra killing most of the attackers.

In late November, Wa Harid al-Muminin carried out a similar attack on SAA positions in northern Lattakia. At that time, 5 militants were killed by the SAA.

The SAA deployed hundreds of well-equipped soldiers from the 1st Division and the Republican Guards west of the town of Manbi, which is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Multiple pro-government sources speculate that the SAA will soon enter the SDF-held town of Manbij just like it had entered the nearby village of Arima. A military source contacted by SouthFront refused to confirm or deny these claims.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that a delegation of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate will visit Damascus soon to discuss the escalation in northeastern Syria. According to reports, the delegation, alongside with the Russians, will mediate negotiations between the Damascus government and the SDF’s political wing, known as the Syrian Democratic Council.

The SDF press center claimed that more than 236 ISIS members had been killed in the recent clashes and US-led coalition airstrikes in the area of Hajin in northeastern Syria. The SDF provided neither photos nor videos to confirm such a high level of casualties among ISIS members. After the establishment of control in Hajin, the SDF continued its efforts to regain the rest of the ISIS-held villages on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. However, it has achieved only limited progress.

A high-level Turkish delegation, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, will visit Moscow this weekend to discuss the situation in northeastern Syria. Ankara is probably seeking Russian support or at least neutrality in the event of a new Turkish military operation in the region against the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

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  • Potato Potato

    Invading by force or reached military agreement with SDF?

  • alejoeisabel

    This is a Turkish gambit in the wake of declared US retreat from Syria. The US retreated only under the condition that the Turkish Army replaced the Americans. Turkey and the US will coordinate this exchange. Loyal Syrian Kurds must engage in guerrilla warfare against Turkish invaders, thus increasing Turkey’s cost. Remember Sus Tzu, hit a superior enemy where he is weakest in the periphery or his flanks. Turkish invaders must get demoralized.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    The SAA will protect the Russians from the FSA and the Russians will protecting the SAA from the Turks, is that a daisy chain, mmmm.
    The Russians and SAA have been in the area for a while now, why isn’t Erdogan complaining?
    Putin and Assad are doing exactly the same thing to Erdogan as did to them when when he established all those OB posts in Idlib and the surrounding areas. They were placed in between advancing SAA troops and retreating rebels and halted the SAA advance, but now the boots on the other foot.
    There’s a reason Erdogan’s not crying foul at the insertion of SAA and Russian troops into areas he’s been saying he’s just about to invade, can you guess why he isn’t, it should be obvious, there’s some sort of a deal been done, and we’ll find out what it is after Erdogan begins his invasion, it should be obvious what the deal actually is by then.

    • Attrition47

      I think you make a good point that these moves are part of a deal, the details of which are only now emerging. I doubt that the Sultan is going to take on the Syrian army and the Allies. I wonder if the PKK have flirted with provoking him to get a better deal from Assad? With luck, Syria-beyond-the-Euphrates will suddenly return to Syrian sovereignty and an autonomy deal with the Kurds (with some assurances to the Sultan).

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Only the Kurds could take on the Turks and get away with it, the proxies are fair game for anyone though. Yes everything you said will come to pass, but one thing has to happen first, Erdogan has to lose a war first and be sent home in disgrace, that’s the only way to get rid of him. With his popularity the way it is he’ll never get voted out, at the end of a lost war he could be though. Everyone wants Erdogan to go now, no one wants him to remain in power, he is now the only problem remaining in Syria. HTS could be wiped out in under a week, what’s left of Isis the same or less, Erdogan’s proxies alone wouldn’t even be that much of a problem, but Erdogan and his Turkish troops are though.

    • Nowruz

      If Erdogan betrays the Russians and the Iranians then he would lose a lot of respect. The US does not like Erdogan which is why they attempted to oust him in 2016. It would be a huge mistake if Turkey initiates a military operation now that the YPG surrendered to the Syrian Gov. I hope Turkey does not invade and remains loyal to its true allies but we can’t rule out the alleged deal that you mentioned.

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        I believe Putin and Trump are both setting up Erdogan.
        Putin made a deal with Erdogan that will allow Assad take back control of the lower part of Idlib without too much of a fight, if any at all, and Erdogan will be allowed to attack the Kurds in the north east, safe in the Knowledge Putin and Assad won’t attack the forces he leaves in control of the north of Idlib. That’s the Putin Erdogan deal.
        Then Trump and Erdogan have another separate deal concerning the Kurds and the withdrawal of US troops, but it’s not so obvious as to what this deal really means for everyone yet, we have to wait and see how it progresses, so far it looks like Erdogan’s agreed to allow the Russians take over areas away from the northern border but that may not actually be the case, we need more time to know for sure.
        But when the time is right, I think both Trump and Putin will spring the trap on Erdogan and attack him on 2 fronts. The Russians and SAA will take care of all the Turks proxy army, and the Kurds will be left to deal with the Turks.
        Erdogan is the only one that want to continue the war, everyone else wants to stop, this is the only way for everyone else to stop him, send him home in defeat and let his own people deal with him.

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Erdogan fear that SDF become in a branch of NDF ( Syria national defense) or even in an autonomous ally militia like Iraqui PMU or Hezbollah with the purpose to fight Turkish backed militia!..

  • jim crowland

    Turkey must be partitioned. One piece for Armenia, which they slaughter a century ago. Another piece for Greece which they slaughtered a century ago. Another piece for Russia, who can guarantee stability. Independence for the Kurds. May be the US, France can take a chunk for stability purposes. Erdogan should be tried in the Hague for genocide against the kurds.